For most people going to a doctor or dentist appointment isn’t exactly the most appealing activity in the world, but as we all know preventative care is vital in preventing more serious conditions in the future. Apparently that fact is understood much better by women than men. Many studies have shown that men are much more reluctant to visit a primary care physician or dentist than their female counterparts. According to a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians, over half of men surveyed hadn’t had a physical exam within the past year.
A caring doctor or the practice of gentle dentistry may be more appealing to men, but it actually isn’t clear what is causing the disconnect that is leading men to seek less medical and dental attention. Twenty-nine percent of men said that they waited “as long as possible” before consulting a physician when they are ill or feeling pain.
The study also pointed out that one of the common reasons men gave when responding to the study was that they didn’t feel they were “sick enough” to seek help. However, that wouldn’t explain why they are also less likely to schedule routine dental exams. There is certainly no proof that men have inherently healthier teeth. This reasoning also doesn’t take into consideration diseases that are symptomless in their early stages like heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Fear might be a hidden cause of this seemingly reckless behavior. A fear of finding out what might be wrong with them, or just the fear of not having control of a situation. Lifetime Family Dental does strive to create a less fearful environment with gentle dentistry in Gilbert, AZ, however fear might not be the only cause of this behavior in men. In a Rutgers study, men with a more traditional, macho ideas about masculinity were 1/2 as likely to obtain preventive health care. There are also theories that the cultural conditioning of men to be tough and not show any weakness is to blame, or that it is a genetic evolutionary behavioral adaptation.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/15/2015) David Mican (Flickr)